Exit Andromedaville

“We are not drifting, not with one of us still left holding the line. And the wind that has moved you to set your sails lifting, blows cold on the one who got cut loose behind.” (Ralph McTell)

The song above is about a love affair ending, but it’s been going round my head all week. Without any warning, the second of my two children announced he was moving out and moving away. It hit me like a punch. I wasn’t prepared. The elder had quietly left a few weeks earlier but not far away and, while one was still there, it felt like they both were.

If I thought about it logically, they were barely ever there. The lives of middle-aged schoolteachers and two young men rarely move in the same timeframe. But other things were there – an overflowing washing basket, the smell of surreptitious fags, bacon fat. And that will go. My house is going to be clean and tidy and quiet. And I can’t bear it.

Nothing can prepare you for the birth of your children and, just as they have no idea of the disruption they bring when they arrive, equally, they have no idea of the pain they cause when they leave. Just as well. It wouldn’t do to worry them, or worse, make them feel obliged to stay. We’ve all met the lonely older people who stayed at home with their parents and have no life after the parent dies. I don’t want that for my kids but I’m not ready to part with them either.

So, I’m randomly crying: the Winnie-the-Pooh sign saying, “X’s Room” was enough to set me off today, the day before it was a favourite mug.

I find it hard to believe their childhood’s over. And harder still to accept that my role is on the sidelines of their lives now. I’ll get used to it…all parents must – but I’m not going to pretend I like it.


About andromedababe

Schoolteacher,shoe lover,garden geek.Likes glitter.Any views on educational practice are my own and are not to be taken as endorsement of any specific educational theories or schemes of work.Note: this is my personal blog - not all my posts relate to education.
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10 Responses to Exit Andromedaville

  1. I am emptying a house that once held four children….

  2. ec1966 says:

    My mother redecorated my bedroom and my brothers very soon after our exit. Mine is now completely pink. I can take the hint lol

  3. inspectorgadget says:

    Your role is NOT over. You just have a new role to get used to. This is happening to us at the moment too. Not sure what the new role is, but it IS there, and we will find it! Good luck.

  4. Gadget sent me… I waved my eldest off to the Alps yesterday, mountain biking, it’s a trip that will bridge the gap between child and man, I’m fretful; yet I know it is ‘right’. It’s a new role we’ve got to get comfy with, it will take time.

  5. Lesley Hossner says:

    I know this so well. He had almost left a few times. When he really did, I had to go and get a proper job. In London. I still hate the quiet evenings and am rarely at home.

    *big hugs*
    Ps. Grandchildren have helped! Xx

  6. @karensmate (Jacquline) says:

    My daughter is just about to complete on her first flat & will be moving out in a couple of weeks. I know just how you feel. *mum solidarity* *hugs*

  7. KirstenM says:

    When my children left, I felt
    satisfied – I had brought them safely this far to adulthood
    bereft – the house was so quiet
    happy – we (us parents) had the house back to ourselves again after twenty years of sharing it
    anxious – how were the offsprings? were they ok? were they eating?

    Daughter has returned, job-hunting. Looks like it’s going to be a long haul to find a job, any job, anywhere. It has been important to renegotiate how we live together – the parent/child relationship has moved towards housesharing..

  8. margecsimpson says:

    Eight weeks after my son moved out my brother redecorated his room for me in a nice neutral shade that ages well. Somehow this was very emotionally cleansing. The room is always available for my son whenever he wants it but its much smarter more adult than it was.

    Do you like poetry? As a teacher you may be familiar with this one but that doesn’t make it any less impactful on the right occasion


  9. I read this over the weekend and thought a lot about it. That moment is still a long time away (I’m approaching 50 and our eldest is 8) but everything is rolling on so fast (and that was a lovely poem, marge).

    You write beautiful posts,

  10. I really fear that my relationship with my own parents is repeating itself with my teenage children. They can go days without talking to me, often want help but never advice. I’m not allowed to know more than them even in things I’m an expert in. I want them to build their own successful lives and families, but interfere for worry they will fail, and of course when they do finally leave I will miss them far more than they miss me.

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